Lahore, March 26: Relations between India and Pakistan can improve because of cricket, said former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.
Afridi’s comments come amid speculation of the two countries playing a short bilateral T20I series this year, which would be the first between India and Pakistan since 2012/13.
“Cricket between Pakistan and India is very important. Sports should be kept away from politics. Relations between the two countries can improve because of cricket,” Afridi told Cricket Pakistan.
“I have said this before as well, Indian cricketers enjoy coming to Pakistan. You can improve relationships through sports but if you don’t want to improve them then they will remain the same way,” he further said.
A report in Pakistan’s Jang newspaper on Wednesday quoted a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official as saying that their cricket board had been asked to “be ready” for a series with India, though no one from India has made any commitment to the series.
“A PCB official said that while there has been no direct discussion with anyone from India, indications are there and we have been told to be ready for such a series,” said the report in the Urdu newspaper.
However, the Indian and Pakistani boards have said they have no knowledge of any development on the resumption of the bilateral cricket.
A top Indian cricket official on Wednesday told IANS, “No, we have no information on India playing a series with Pakistan.” Pakistan’s Geo TV quoted PCB chairman Ehsan Mani as saying that they have not been contacted by anyone for a possible India-Pakistan series and neither has he been part of any discussion with his Indian counterpart on the issue.